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Poster: Cliff Hucker Date: Sep 2, 2010 8:27pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: THIS JUST IN

Significant upgrades here, thanks to Rob Eaton! I have always felt Seth Kaplan's remasters of these shows were lacking in brilliance. 1/26 in particular is a huge improvement!

Yabba-dabba-doo!

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Poster: Jim F Date: Sep 3, 2010 12:08am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: THIS JUST IN

I have to wonder about the listed cassette generation in the previous Kaplan sources. Anything that goes from Eaton-->Miller you can pretty much guarantee is 99.9% accurate information, but I'm wondering if the Kaplan stuff originated from Eaton's original Dat? You would think so. Maybe it was backwards and those were cassette copies of Eaton's DAT rather than the listed MR>Cass>Dat. I don't know, I'm talking out of my a$$. Either way, I fully agree with your statement, these new transfers sound so much nicer, esp 1/26. Compared to these, the older sources almost sound like cassette masters, or at least the cassette generation is more readily apparent, these definitely sound like they come from true master reels and it shows, a for sure upgrade.

The other thing I've always been curious about this run is the exact machine these circulating recordings were made on. Clearly they used the 16 track at these shows, based on the material that appears on Live/Dead, as well as the written accounts, perhaps my favorite being the story about the guys being all excited about the first set from the 25th, only to find out Weir's guitar got "left out" of the mix, at which they really laid into Bear about.

At any rate, my question would be do these recordings come from 16 track masters? They sound fantastic, but I can't really tell if they are mixdowns from 16 track masters or from regular 2 track stereo masters, as I'm no audio engineer or anything. When listening to the previous sources, I always thought they were 2 track reel masters, but maybe that was just the muddiness of the cassette generation that was clouding my judgment?

This post was modified by Jim F on 2010-09-03 07:08:55

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Sep 3, 2010 5:08am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: THIS JUST IN

Miller definitely eliminates the cassette generation that was in Kaplan's lineage...deadlists is pretty specific about the Kaplan tapesource. (Miller's never specific about his.)

I've assumed that these are all 2-tracks that Bear was taping at the same time they were doing the 16-tracks, especially considering the mix troubles on these tapes.
(And if Lesh's story is true, presumably there's no Weir on the 1/25 16-track!)
I think it was just the Fillmore shows from 2/27-3/2 that went into circulation from 16-track rough mixes, but could be wrong.

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Poster: Jim F Date: Sep 4, 2010 12:30am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: THIS JUST IN

Yeah, that has always been my assumption, that they ran a seperate reel deck to make 2 tracks (like you said, a pretty obvious assumption based on the mix issues), and that's where our older source came from. By this time, fortunately for us Bear was beginning to really get serious about his "sonic journals" and always running at least one deck, and around this same time is when he also started making the simultaneous cassette masters along with the reels. I wonder how expensive and difficult it was to obtain a decent cassette deck in late 68/early 69?

In Phil's book he claims that after that first set on the 25th that they were all "high-fiving" and were sure that they had just played "it," that they had exactly what they wanted for the live album in the can. Maybe it's just the mix, but I don't find that set all that thrilling, at least in terms of it being one of the "best" versions of the DS>SS>11>LL suite they were going to put on the album. Weir is of course pretty crucial to the whole thing, but it seems like even without him in the mix you would hear the magic Phil claims they all felt after the set. I guess I'm also just holding it to Live/Dead standards, which are hard to meet.

The Eleven from this run that made it onto the album, however, was a brilliant choice. Something about that version always feels like the definitive version of that song for me. Though if I HAD to pick one from the Fillmore run, I'd go with 2/28. 2/28's Eleven is just wonderful, I'll never understand why people are so hopped up about the like 6 minute version from 3/1 (I'm the same with the Dark Star, I don't like it nearly as much as 2/28). Sure the little jam at the end with just Jerry and Billy is touching, but otherwise, I'm not all that moved by it like I am 1/26, 2/11. 2/28, etc.

2/11 is another one I've always wondered about. To my understanding that one is an 8 track master, I've always wondered why it's not a 16 track. And I've always wondered why we've never heard 2/12 in more complete, better quality. As far as we know, the only 16 tracks were made at the Avalon in january and the Fillmore in Feb/March, right? So why do we have one 8 track master smack in the middle of the two runs? And how did they master 2/12? 2 tracks? 8? 16? We'll probably never know.

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Sep 4, 2010 2:53pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: THIS JUST IN

Lesh might be mistaken about which night had the accident... I wouldn't expect him to accurately remember which night was which, decades later!

It is kind of strange that 2/11/69 was recorded in 8-track. My guess is that the 16-track was then considered too precious to transport cross-country! (As far as I recall, they didn't take it outside San Francisco in those months...)
I'm pretty sure the complete 2/12/69 is in the vault, and it's only by cruel chance that the circulating copy is incomplete. (Our copy, by the way, apparently comes from Bear's master cassette.) Rob Eaton's copy is complete, so presumably we just have to wait for Miller to get around to it one of these years!

By the way, I'm not sure if Jan '69 was when Bear started "getting serious" about his journal....I suspect he was pretty serious in '68, too. No way to prove it now, but I think he was taping steadily in '68, and it was only when the band started thinking about Live/Dead that THEY started getting serious about KEEPING his tapes. Our few shows from late '68 seem like random survivals to me (just like in early '70), those couldn't be the only nights he taped!
Don't know what a cassette deck would've cost him then, but I seem to remember him saying somewhere that cassettes were cheaper than reels - so when he couldn't afford more reels, there would always be cassettes handy.